I went to buy plums this morning on the very top of a hill, after Skyping with Owen and Mike. I was feeling forlorn, but this guy and his muscles and his rockabilly hair made me grin.
In the High Country we found a little cemetery, snug in a pocket of grass near Cemetery Creek. The crosses were placed years after the graves had run to ground; they commemorate the first few pioneers to live and die on the hills. Beneath a vast tree was a stack of old branches, ready for conflagration.
Last Saturday night, as part of EarthWatch's volunteer program, I spent a night in the Botanical Gardens, setting traps for microbats. A friend had invited me, and it was bliss to tag along, setting the fine lengths of fishing wire taut and tramping around the gardens in the dusk.
I hadn't known before that there were microbats and mega bats - the former using echolocation to find their prey, and the latter, such as our flying foxes, relying on their mammal senses. The traps we set were 'harp' traps, not, as I imagined, small and bowed, but large structures that send off a faint echo, the wires themselves temporarily stunning these small bats as they tried to weave their way through.
As luck would have it, our last trap was barely set before a storm whistled through the gardens - rain lashed sideways, a volunteer was nearly impaled by a market umbrella. The hordes of insects stayed home, so that we only found one little bat lady, who our guide weighed and banded. She was tiny, all silk and leather, and clacked and chattered throughout the night as we lay out on stretchers, trying to catch a wink of sleep before dawn came. In the morning the earth was sodden, but the bat was very happy to return to whence she came.
It's been slow, and I let things slip. But here is an image of frost, slowly misting off the grass on a crisp October day, as I ran around a frigid house in my bare feet looking for my camera. These are the things I miss in the city. Here's it's only windows that frost, and they melt into gunk with the first few rays of the sun.
A basket of pinecones out the back of a cooking school in Bright. I didn't realise the live cones looked so luminously like artichokes.
Bathtime is a nightly ritual, with 'bath wine' (me and Mike) and 'many turtles' (Owen). I spend a lot of time on the bathroom floor, singing songs and trying to convince O to brush his teeth. The curtain is hung to separate the toilet from the bath tub; if I had my way they would never be in the same room, ever. The mistletoe cactus I bought on a whim. Mike refers to it as 'the tentacle plant' but really, I think it earns its keep.
A man caught mid-shot; I'm not sure what this expressions is, rage, chagrin, amusement, caffeine? Owen's expression is easier to read: "Okay Mum, I can see you're taking a picture but I have a very important task at hand."
Glowing signage, glowing sky.
Dear God, this almost-spring sunshine! I stopped for a quiet moment to admire these ranunculas, and when I kept going - I had the pusher, Owen was with me - I began to hear a rustle. Two small hands had shot out while I lingered, and grabbed a cellophane-wrapped bunch of daffodils. We turned around and furtively returned them to the florist. I'm pretty sure that nobody noticed a thing.
For the past week or so, in any spare moment, I've had my needle to the loom, a small loom I took away from a weaving class last week. It wasn't completely out of the blue - I pitched an article about tapestry a while back and was actually there for research - but I have been a bit taken aback by just how much I've enjoyed the process of weaving.
There's something wonderfully tactile and luxurious about digging in a pile of balls of wool for just the right colour; threading the needle, tabby weaving into a meditative state. Of course this tapestry doesn't hold a candle to some of the contemporary weaving out there, but as a first stab I rather like it. It's going to a woman who grew up on the Mornington Peninsula, and if she doesn't want it - I'm sure her cats will.